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Banten man taken into police custody for uploading video of damaged road in his village

Jakarta Post - November 6, 2020

Jakarta – Badrudin, a resident of Cihara district in Lebak regency, Banten, was arrested by police on Monday for uploading to his Facebook account a video showing difficult road access in and out of his village.

The video showed a pregnant woman who was purportedly about to give birth being carried by around half a dozen local residents using a makeshift stretcher.

The woman had to be carried by foot for several kilometers to a nearby health facility as cars cannot enter the village due to difficult road access and damaged roads.

"After 75 years of Indonesian independence our village still doesn't have proper infrastructure. A pregnant woman even had to be carried using bamboo sticks and a sarong [to the nearest health facility]" Badrudin wrote in his Facebook post.

His complaint, however, landed him in trouble as he was taken by local officials to the village meeting hall shortly after he had posted the video.

According to the accounts of his family members, the Facebook post irked the village head, who then called the authorities.

"The village head claimed that Badrudin needed to be taken to Panggarangan police station to avoid anger from other residents. But we found it odd because no other residents were mad, they even supported his criticism," Badrudin's brother, Rinaldi, said as quoted by kompas.com.

He was released on Wednesday after spending two days in police custody.

It is unclear whether or not he was charged under the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law, a sweeping online censorship law that is often used in such cases, or walked free without any charges.

House of Representatives Commission III deputy chairman Ahmad Sahroni criticized his arrest, saying it was irrational.

"The ITE Law should be used to protect the people rather than criminalize and silence them," Sahroni said on Thursday as quoted by tribunnews.com.

Sahroni said the police should have been more careful in dealing with the case, adding that the police had to be more selective in implementing the ITE Law as they needed to see the context of the case.

He reminded the police to take caution in investigating reports, especially those related to the people's voice.

"It's police duty to serve and protect the people, including their voice and aspirations. Don't process reports that aim to silence the people," Sahroni added. (nal)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/11/06/banten-man-taken-into-police-custody-for-uploading-video-of-damaged-road-in-his-village.htm